One Year Commencing


149 pages
ISBN 1-895449-65-0
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings is an elementary-school teacher-librarian with the Durham
Board of Education.


Alison Marie Gaitskill has lived with her mother in Alberta for as long
as she can remember, visiting her father in Toronto during summer
vacations only. Now, thanks to a court order, she is to live with her
father for “one year commencing during the summer subsequent to her
[12th] birthday.” At the end of that period, the order states, she
must decide which parent should have primary custody. What an impossible
situation for a 12-year-old!

Alison is portrayed as an intelligent, compassionate, and creative
individual. Her strength of character allows her to overcome her
feelings of loneliness and homesickness and eventually resolve the
dilemma she faces.

In addition to custody issues, this appealing novel touches on such
contemporary topics as homelessness, parental child abduction, and
alternate lifestyles. Given the book’s intended young-adult audience,
mass-market paperback size would have been a more popular choice of
format. Highly recommended.


Stinson, Kathy., “One Year Commencing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,